Illustration by Selçuk Demirel
Before you get all excited about this post, know this. I'm just learning how to plot and am quickly putting together a simplified, streamlined version of all plotting templates that I have found online and in books. One that works for me. For now. I expect it will change and keep changing in the near future as I keep learning. I intend to read every book on plotting out there (or as many as I can), until I puke plot out of my ears and out of everywhere else. I want to saturate my mind with it until it can take no more, and maybe then I'll stop and reevaluate everything I've learned.
However, having warned you, know something else too.
I'M TERRIBLY EXCITED TO SHARE MY PLOTTING TIPS WITH YOU!
When I was starting out to write my first novel, I read about plotting, but nothing sunk in my head for long enough to stay there. Maybe I wasn't ready, maybe it didn't make sense to me. Either way, the terms and the explanations were so alien and complex that I couldn't grasp them. I understood what they meant, but I didn't understand how to apply it to my writing. I hope what I'll outline below will help you if you're grappling with the same issue. If you just google plotting template images, your mind will reel from everything you see. And I wish I would stumble on such a simplified version of the plotting process when I was starting out. I wish. Although ironically, I see how my writing career is fitting into the plotting summary I have outlined. I'm smack at the rock bottom at the moment. You'll see.
I have decided to construct a very simple process that I can follow from start to finish, from one word to the finished book, from the simplest to the most complex. In a way it's similar to the snowflake method, but instead of expanding outwardly from the center, mine is expanding from the tip of the iceberg to its very bottom, the biggest part of it that you can't see under all the dark, frozen water. Ready? Here we go.